Staff Reporter

BHUBANESWAR: Orissa Forest Mazdoor Union (OFMU) on Monday urged the Government to introduce a food security scheme on the line of World Food Programme for bamboo cutters, who were leading a pathetic life.

Submitting a memorandum to Governor Murlidhar Chandrakant Bhandare, OFMU general secretary Dandapani Mohanty said there were about one lakh bamboo cutters, who were mostly landless and were languishing in poverty in the State.

The WFP came to their rescue supplying food commodity to this forest dependent community through government agencies like Forest Department and every year nearly 10000 metric tonne of rice, pulses and edible oiled were being supplied to these poor families for last 20 years.

The WFP programme has been stopped from 2008 onwards. Moreover, it is learnt that WFP has decided to wind up its operation and divert this commodity to some other country outside India, Mr. Mohanty said

He said bamboo forest was dwindling and if regeneration measures like plantation and protections were not taken seriously, bamboo cutters would surely have bleak future. The Rs. 2-per-kg programme may be linked to bamboo cutters community, OFMU general secretary demanded.